If you hitch up your trailer incorrectly, it can come loose and cause serious damage to both the trailer and your vehicle. It is also without counting on the accident that this could cause with other vehicles, if the trailer were to come loose. In this article, we will explain how to securely hitch a trailer. It's simple !
Step 1. Lift the coupler handle to disengage the hitch ball
Step 2. Align the two axles, the car axle and the trailer axle
Use the jockey wheel attached to the hitch arm. Using the small crank, make sure that the arm is high enough to pass over the ball, so as not to hit the trailer
Step 3. Slowly back up with your vehicle until the hitch arm coupler is over the ball
- Put in neutral.
- Stop the engine.
- Apply the handbrake.
Step 4. Lower the trailer hitch onto the hitch ball
The weight of the trailer must bear entirely on the ball.
Step 5. Engage the safety latch to secure the ball in the coupler
Step 6. Secure the coupler to the ball using a safety pin or the manual nut
Step 7. Position the safety chains under the hitch arm crossing them
Thus, they will prevent the arm from touching the ground if it should accidentally come undone.
Step 8. Connect the electric cables to the trailer and, if so, also connect the power to the trailer brake
Step 9. Double check that the coupler is fully engaged and secured to the ball
You can, for example, mount the arm with the jockey wheel to see if the coupler goes away.
Step 10. Reassemble the jockey wheel and block it in height
Otherwise, you can, depending on the model, remove it altogether. It must in no case come undone when you ride.
Step 11. Give it a try by rolling a few yards
Step 12. Stop the vehicle, put on dead axle, apply the handbrake and turn on the lights
Step 13. Check that the lights at the rear of the trailer are working properly and that nothing has come off at the hitch ball
- Checking the lights alone is not easy, you can't be in two places at the same time, in the car and behind the trailer! If you are really alone, set up a mirror or some other reflective surface that you will place so that you can see from the driver's seat. Step on the brake pedal and see in your mirror if the red lights come on. Take the opportunity to test the turn signals of the trailer.
- To properly align your trailer and vehicle, you can use markings. Attach a piece of adhesive tape to the rear window of your vehicle to mark the axis of the car's attachment system, then install one of these magnetic signal flags (which are placed on bikes) on the drawbar of the trailer. When you back up, all you have to do is line up the tape and the flag.
- You should always check that the hitch ball and coupler are properly secured. Fit the jockey wheel to see if the coupler disengages from the ball.
- The coupler latch is sometimes difficult to operate. A little grease in the right places and your latch will close without a problem.
- If someone is helping you during the backing maneuver, watch their position carefully so as not to get caught.
- When securing (backing up), check twice rather than once that there are no children or pets nearby, especially between the vehicle and the trailer.
- After a stop (rest, full of gasoline), before setting off again, check your coupling again, the tires and the running gear of the trailer.